So, it has begun. Winter. I went to school at 7 am and it was dark. I came home at 5:45 pm and it was dark. Dark. Dark. Dark. Boo.
On the bright side, tomorrow is PJ Day for Red Ribbon Week! Every teacher’s dream.
Last weekend we went to Cambridge, London, and Oxford all in the same weekend.
Cambridge and London we did a lot of that touristy stuff. Not going to lie, touristy things are beginning to annoy me. Not because they aren’t interesting, surreal, and obviously worth seeing (hello, hundreds of people are there with you to see it), but when there is an overflow of people, it makes it not as real. Almost like it is just a replica or something. I don’t know; does anyone else feel this way?
Here are some pictures of the long weekend!
I had the opportunity to run the Oxofrd Half Marathon. Let me just tell you, I almost just ran 13.1 miles in London because every obstacle to get to the dang race was in front of me. Running the 13.1 miles was the least of my worries. First, you see England still respects the fact that Sunday is a day of rest. Nothing is really open and the trains are running until mid-morning/ afternoon-sh. So, obstacle one: get myself to Oxford. £90 later, Kim, Micaela, and I were in Oxford. For those of you that do not know, £90 is about $144. Yikes! That was double what I actually paid to run the race! Second obstacle: rain, rain, rain. It wouldn’t be England if it didn’t rain, right? It literally poured from 7 am until almost noon. Normally, it just sprinkles here and there. Nope, not the day of the race- rained all day, er’day. Obstacle three: I was just going to stay in my running clothes after the race until we could make it back to the hotel. Well, when it rains all day, your shoes are soaked, my shirt was soaked, I was chaffing because the wet articles of clothing on me, not due to the run. So, we marched over to Primark (mix between Rue 21 and Forever 21) for a cheap, new outfit. I ditched the slopping wet spandex and cuddle in a warm sweater and socks. I guess buying a new outfit wasn’t that bad.
Pushing through the obstacles was worth seeing my completion time: 1:52:36. I shaved off about 4 minutes from my last Half. Although I think I could have pushed a 1:50, I was pleased. My next Half in the spring I am shooting for a 1:46:30. I can’t wait to train with the husband!
The race was smooth and transient. The first couple of miles I was beyond nervous about meeting my goal. Not going to lie, I was going to be pissed if I went through all of that and didn’t get a PR. However, once I let go and realized there is nothing I can do to stop the rain, I just ran. I stayed with the 1:55 pacer for the first 6 1/2 miles. Then, there was a traffic, I kept going. I looked back, but I felt good, so I kept going. Mile 9, I was like ohh, ohh alright, I got it. So, I pushed a little harder. I crossed that finish line cold and wet, but with a huge smile.
When you cross the Oxford Half Marathon finish line, it is cool because it is at the Oxford United Club Football Stadium. So, people are standing in the stands yelling and cheering. The height and depth of the people is overwhelming.
Pros about the race: their goodby bags rock. You get a Brookes water bottle, Brookes short-sleeve technical shirt, Clif Bar (Blueberry…yum!), a magazine, and a Gu to try.
Cons: their start line isn’t anything exciting, they go off their gun time, not your chip (I of course used my Garmin to record my time), and no food at the end.
Overall, it was fabulous. The volunteers were so sweet. It’s funny because Brits always look nice. The volunteers were dressed to the nines; whereas, in the US they are just in jeans and a t-shirt. It was cute.
Enjoy your week! We have a couple more weeks “home” and then Ireland November 9-11th! With the Dean coming, we are making sure we are over prepared for our observations.
I can’t believe it is almost the most Wonderful Time of the Year! I love the holiday season!